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Improving Your Relationship For Dummies

The hands-on, practical guide for couples

By Paula Hall
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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Improving Your Relationship For Dummies by Paula Hall
Synopsis

Improving Your Relationship For Dummies (2010) provides simple techniques for couples hoping to boost their intimacy, sharpen their communication and overcome challenges in a productive, healthy way. It offers advice for both new couples that want to start off on the right foot and long-term couples that hope to get things back on track.

Key idea 1 of 10

A strong relationship rests on compatibility, intimacy and day-to-day stability.

Every relationship has its ups and downs. When you hit a rough patch, it’s easy to forget about the positive things and dwell on the negative. If you want to improve your relationship, however, you have to build on its strengths.

All solid romantic relationships have three core strengths: compatibility, intimacy and day-to-day stability.

The first core strength, compatibility, is the foundation of your relationship. It’s the degree to which you and your partner actually suit each other. Do you have the same outlook on life? Do you share the same passions or interests?

People change as they get older, and compatibility changes accordingly. However, your core principles and life goals – a desire to have children, for instance, or a belief in monogamy – generally don’t change much over time, and it’s these goals and principles that truly form the foundation of compatibility.

The second core strength is intimacy: how close you and your partner really are. Intimacy doesn’t just appear out of nowhere; it’s a product of time and deep mutual understanding.

There are three different kinds of intimacy. Emotional intimacy is about how openly you share your emotions. Intellectual intimacy is about how well you understand each other's thought processes. And physical intimacy is about how well you connect physically, through touch or sex.

Each kind of intimacy is important, but it’s unlikely that a couple will feel perfectly intimate in each arena. Identifying which area of intimacy needs work is the first step toward improving it.

The last core strength, day-to-day stability, concerns how your relationship plays out on a daily level. Stability is extremely valuable; indeed, a relationship isn’t sustainable without it.

Your relationship simply can’t survive if it suffers from daily tension, no matter how compatible or intimate you are. When it comes to romance, harmony in your daily life is absolutely crucial to long-term success.

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